I think all of us would admit that there are times when people are a pain, right? Getting along with people is a fine art that sometimes demands the very best of us.
I want to examine an amazing story involving a guy that most of us are familiar with. But I wonder if you realize what this poor soul had to deal with in terms of the people God called him to lead.
Moses was one of the greatest natural leaders the world has ever seen. He had the task of leading God’s people, the Israelites, out from under their bondage in Egypt and into a land “flowing with milk and honey.”
The problem was that Moses had to lead them through an intensely harsh climate and difficult terrain into a foreign, yet unseen, land. And they were not happy about it. They suffered from a hefty dose of what I am calling “stinking thinking”.
Two examples of stinking thinking:
Let’s briefly look at two events in the journey of the Israelites into the Promised Land and evaluate their attitude and thinking.
1. The crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:11-12).
The most amazing aspect of this event is the contrast between all God did for these people and their repeated refusal to trust and obey Him. The Israelites were suffering under the harsh treatment they received from their slave masters. They were, in every sense of the term, slaves.
As such, they no doubt dreamed about the day they would be free. God commissioned Moses to deliver them. These should have been days of unprecedented rejoicing.Instead, they grumbled and complained. The wonderful thing is the fact that God in His grace and mercy still saved the people even though they doubted Him.
2. The incident of the manna and quail (Exodus 16:3).
Here we see the people grumbling against Moses and Aaron because there was no food. Rather than rejoice over their freedom and dream in anticipation of their new home, they recalled their slave days back in Egypt.
Isn’t it amazing how the mind can minimize the pain and exaggerate the positives of the past? Refusing to remember the intense suffering they endured in the shifting sands of Egypt, they only recalled the food they ate, bare bones rations in all likelihood. Again, we see God’s goodness being demonstrated and He provides the manna and the quail.
We all experience stinking thinking from time to time
I could go into countless more examples of the Israelites complaining but I won’t. I think we get the picture. The sad thing is that we all experience “stinking thinking'” from time to time. Sometimes, we can be guilty of the same critical spirit that plagued the Israelites.
I wonder if any of us woke up this morning and thanked God that we were healthy. Did we thank Him because we can enjoy the beauty of the things He has created? Were we grateful for our meals today or did we forget that millions around the world will go to bed with empty stomachs?
Do we look at life through positive or negative eyes?
If we have detected in ourselves a negative attitude toward our circumstances, rather than a positive one, we may need to make some serious changes in our outlook.
How stinking is your thinking?